Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > New York City
Reload this Page >

First NYC visit - your suggestions? (July 2012)

First NYC visit - your suggestions? (July 2012)

Old May 30, 12, 6:21 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 60
Cool First NYC visit - your suggestions? (July 2012)

Hey guys!

I was advised to come to these threads for questions about this specific city, so I'll be posting the same thing in each city's forum lol I'm travelling on my first business trip to US from Europe, and I've decided to extend it a bit.

I'll be in NYC from 8 to 10th of July. First of all, any suggestions on what to EAT? And where? I heard about awesome NYC pizzas.

As for the places to visit, since I'm there shortly, I'll just visit most famous places probably - Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire state building.

Appreciate any suggestions guys! Really looking forward seeing US for the first time. ^
NBThing is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 7:12 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Box Three Five Oh, Boston Mass, Oh two one three four
Programs: Loyal Order of Water Buffalos
Posts: 3,055
So many options, it all depends on you.

What's your budget for dinner? If it's $10 we've got ideas. If it's $25, we've got ideas. Same for $50, $100, $200, and even $500.

With booze or without?

Where are you staying?

Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx?

Uptown, Midtown, Downtown?

In terms of visiting places, are you alone? Or are you with kids and/or a wife?

There is no such thing as One Size Fits all with NYC, we need to know more about you in order to recommend.
Out of my Element is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 8:28 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC
Programs: AA GLD, AC
Posts: 2,730
Originally Posted by Out of my Element View Post
So many options, it all depends on you.

There is no such thing as One Size Fits all with NYC, we need to know more about you in order to recommend.
I absolutely agree with this. There's so much to do in NYC that it's impossible to make suggestions without knowing a bit about a visitor's interests.

That said, here are a few general tips:

1) You can't see everything on a short trip, so don't even try. Don't feel you have to visit every major sight, museum, cultural attraction, etc., on your trip. It's pretty much impossible given the sheer number of tourist attractions in the city, and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to see the city like that. Pick a few - maybe the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art - and plan to come back to see the others!

2) Make sure you leave time to just walk around the city at your own speed and explore the neighborhoods. This is truly the best thing about NYC - Midtown is a collection of office buildings that you could find anywhere, although not in such density. Greenwich Village, the East Village - hell, even the Upper West Side - only in NYC.

3) DO NOT SPEND MORE THAN AN HOUR IN TIMES SQUARE. The entire area is a huge tourist trap designed mostly to separate flyover Americans from their money. The stores are all major chains, the restaurants are poor and ridiculously overpriced, and it's impossible to walk five feet down the sidewalk without stopping for all the herds of bovine tourists. By all means, go - walk around for a while, look at the lights, but then ESCAPE. And, please, for god's sake, don't eat at the Olive Garden.

4) On the other hand, do make sure you wander around Central Park for a while. It's beautiful, it's free, and it's a very NYC experience.
M60_to_LGA is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 10:21 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 78
Thanks guys!

I'm alone, I'm 22 and I'm interesting in whatever I can see. I'm looking for food in the range of $10-20, I've heard about pizzas and carts. Then something else. I would appreciate if someone could advise me where to find these, or rather what are the best places for these ones?

I'm staying in Manhattan, about 10 min from Times Square.

As for the places to visit, I really want to look at the Friends' building and go to the central park, then hopefully Statue of Liberty and Empire state building or Rockefeller instead. I have 1 half day on 8th July, full day on 9th, so I'm not sure what do you think would be realistic to accomplish and what choices would be the best?

I'm alone so it'd be much more quicker for me to get to places, and get out of them, compared to if I was with a group of people.
Powka is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 10:40 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC
Programs: AA GLD, AC
Posts: 2,730
Originally Posted by Powka View Post
Thanks guys!

I'm alone, I'm 22 and I'm interesting in whatever I can see. I'm looking for food in the range of $10-20, I've heard about pizzas and carts. Then something else. I would appreciate if someone could advise me where to find these, or rather what are the best places for these ones?

I'm staying in Manhattan, about 10 min from Times Square.

As for the places to visit, I really want to look at the Friends' building and go to the central park, then hopefully Statue of Liberty and Empire state building or Rockefeller instead. I have 1 half day on 8th July, full day on 9th, so I'm not sure what do you think would be realistic to accomplish and what choices would be the best?

I'm alone so it'd be much more quicker for me to get to places, and get out of them, compared to if I was with a group of people.
Are you the OP? You appear to be, but the screen names are different.

Friends building? As in, the building from the TV show? Have fun with that

If you want to do the statue, I'd say leave very early in the morning - it's not really a quick trip because of the ferry. Also you might consider combining the statue with Ellis Island, which has a wonderful immigration museum.

If you do the Empire State, be aware that it will be insanely packed with tourists unless you go first thing in the morning. At any rate, it may be better to do that in the evening so you can see the sunset from up top.

Food in the range of $10-$20 is definitely doable in Manhattan, but not in Times Square (see my comment above.) However, in Hell's Kitchen (between 8th-10th Aves, roughly from 45th-59th Sts) you can find all sorts of food in that price range, and it's a very easy walk from Times Square.

If you like Chinese food, I'd definitely recommend going to Chinatown - you can get very inexpensive meals there, and I've never had a bad one. If you're unsure where to go, just take a walk around and see what looks interesting. Many of the more high-quality places will post Zagat-rated stickers, positive reviews, and things on their front doors/windows, but sometimes you can get an amazing meal at a nondescript, hole-in-the-wall sort of place where you wouldn't expect it.

As to pizza, most of the places you'll see on the street (Ray's, Original Ray's, Famiglia, etc.) are crap. To be honest, I've never quite understood the NYC pizza fetish, and I believe the best/most traditional places for pizza are actually in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. At any rate, I'm sure others on the board can provide suggestions, and you can always look at food blogs and guidebooks. My personal favorite pizza place is the one by my apartment, which may in fact be the best slice place in Manhattan - but I live above 207th St., and you probably don't want to head that far north just for pizza.

For street carts, there are felafel/shwarma and taco carts all over the place now, but of course they're of highly variable quality. My personal favorite taco cart is on the NE corner of 14th St/8th Ave (called "El Idolo").

Also, if you're 22, shouldn't you be asking about nightlife? Heh.
M60_to_LGA is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 11:01 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: A metal nomad
Programs: Mucci des Delices Exotiques,Order of the Platinum Hairbrush,Her Royal Diamond
Posts: 22,360
I would do the empire state at night, you get a beautiful view of the lights...As for food, most of the carts are good and so are the trucks.
Yahillwe is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 11:09 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 22,064
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

For pizza-by-the-slice, my favorite place in Manhattan is Pizza Suprema, on 8th Avenue between 30th and 31st streets (near Penn Station and the General Post Office). For whole pies, John's on Bleecker Street (in Greenwich Village), and Nick's on 2nd Avenue and 94th Street are both very good.

Some of the trendy, new pizzerias, like Co. and Motorino, get very good reviews from the food critics and from some FT regulars, but I have not tried either one of those.
guv1976 is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 12:15 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: LGA/JFK
Programs: DL Silver (aka, Delta AmEx PLUS), Starbucks Gold :)
Posts: 462
As for pizza places - and I mean those that sell by the slice and have standing room - I find it to be trial and error. Even in the same pizza place, one day they may make it great, but the next day, it's just not the same. Could be the ingredients of the sauce, could be the dough...I'm not sure. So I'd suggest to the OP to just "follow the crowd." There's a rhyme and reason why people go for food here in NYC. If it's good, there will be a crowd. If it's bad, you can be sure that the restaurant will be empty.

There are pizza places that are restaurants that don't sell by the slice and you'll have to sit down and buy a whole pie. Some of the good one's that I have tried and would recommend are Patsy's Pizzeria in Greenwich Village, Grimaldi's Pizzeria in Brooklyn (may be too far to trek), and Lombardi's Pizza in Little Italy/SoHo.

Also, don't ever believe your hotel concierge if they tell you to order from Dominos, Papa Johns, or Pizza Hut. I don't care what anyone says, any place that allows you to order online for delivery IS NOT REAL PIZZA!

Food carts are hit or miss as well. For me, the hits are great, and the misses sometimes end me in the bathroom. Believe it or not, NYC has an annual Vendy Awards where food cart vendors can compete for the top slot. You can search for "Vendy Awards" to see if they updated the list. Again, follow the crowds. There is one vendor that I pass by all the time, on the corner of 53rd and 6th that always has a LONG line. They have a website (http://53rdand6th.com/) and even a YELP review here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/53rd-and-6th...-cart-new-york. Give that a try. If you're here in NYC on a weekend, there's always a Street Fair somewhere blocking traffic. Go to http://www.nycstreetfairs.com/ to check the schedules. Street fairs always have food vendors, but they may not be the best.

For more toursty restaurants, but still up there for food, I've always recommended Katz's Delicatessen (http://katzsdelicatessen.com/) Downtown. The pastrami sandwiches are great. It's a bit expensive (~$15 per sandwich), but the place has got a lot of history, a lot of celebrity pictures on the wall, and it's where the famous scene in "When Harry Met Sally" was shot.

As for sightseeing, when I travel, I've always found those double-decker hop-on/hop-off tourist buses a good deal to get a lay-of-the-land for my first day as a tourist. If something looks interesting, I'll revisit it on my own if I didn't get a chance to the first time around. You can find these in Times Square, on Broadway between 47th and 49th streets. They wear a billboard and will solicit tickets to you.

Last edited by LGANightOwl; May 31, 12 at 12:20 pm
LGANightOwl is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 5:04 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Times Square
Programs: SPG Gold, AAdvantage
Posts: 1,395
Originally Posted by LGANightOwl View Post
Food carts are hit or miss as well. For me, the hits are great, and the misses sometimes end me in the bathroom. Believe it or not, NYC has an annual Vendy Awards where food cart vendors can compete for the top slot. You can search for "Vendy Awards" to see if they updated the list. Again, follow the crowds. There is one vendor that I pass by all the time, on the corner of 53rd and 6th that always has a LONG line. They have a website (http://53rdand6th.com/) and even a YELP review here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/53rd-and-6th...-cart-new-york. Give that a try. If you're here in NYC on a weekend, there's always a Street Fair somewhere blocking traffic. Go to http://www.nycstreetfairs.com/ to check the schedules. Street fairs always have food vendors, but they may not be the best.
Don't waste your time standing in line at 53rd and 6th. There are several food carts in the vicinity along 6th Avenue that have pretty much the same food, especially for a first time who hasn't ever ate at a street meat cart and has no basis for comparison. Here's where we discussed these carts: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/new-york-city/961459-food-carts-street-meat-nyc.html BTW, don't get hot sauce if you have no tolerance for spicy food.

For NYC pizza, I woud say any of the places along the east side of 8th Avenue between 49th and 59th street would be a taste of "NYC pizza" which by my definition is "thin crust pizza." This section is very close to Times Square and just barely outside of the tourist trap area. Wherever you go, try to pick a place where the main focus of the restaurant is pizza and other Italian dishes. Not one of those delis where they sell some pizzas next to the mix-your-own-salad with the hot-food-buffet in the middle of the store. The pizza should look fresh and not dry with congealed cheese if it has been sitting out for a while.
sent is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 5:10 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Times Square
Programs: SPG Gold, AAdvantage
Posts: 1,395
Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
As to pizza, most of the places you'll see on the street (Ray's, Original Ray's, Famiglia, etc.) are crap. To be honest, I've never quite understood the NYC pizza fetish, and I believe the best/most traditional places for pizza are actually in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. At any rate, I'm sure others on the board can provide suggestions, and you can always look at food blogs and guidebooks. My personal favorite pizza place is the one by my apartment, which may in fact be the best slice place in Manhattan - but I live above 207th St., and you probably don't want to head that far north just for pizza.
Have you ever lived elsewhere in the US outside of the NYC area? Spend a few years elsewhere and you'll be longing for any pizza that resembles Ray's and Famiglia.
sent is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 5:21 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: A metal nomad
Programs: Mucci des Delices Exotiques,Order of the Platinum Hairbrush,Her Royal Diamond
Posts: 22,360
How about hot dogs...http://www.crifdogs.com/


Burgers.....http://www.shakeshack.com/


And great pizza ....http://www.artichokepizza.com/
Yahillwe is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 7:05 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: Delta GM, AA Gold
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by sent View Post
Have you ever lived elsewhere in the US outside of the NYC area? Spend a few years elsewhere and you'll be longing for any pizza that resembles Ray's and Famiglia.

Disagree bigtime. Those restaurants are too commercialized. When you open chains, you need to maintain the consistency between restaurants. As a result, ingredients are made in one place, sometimes days in advance, and used in several locations. I much prefer my neighborhood pizzeria that makes their ingredients fresh multiple times daily. It's why it tastes unique.

(as you see, OP, this is a debate that can go on and on. )
NYCTraveller is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 7:13 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: AA Platinum, ex-UA 1P
Posts: 228
Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
Are you the OP? You appear to be, but the screen names are different.
I don't think they're the same poster, though their itineraries overlap quite a bit:

LA San Fran NYC your suggestions!

US trip: Please criticize

Powka, suggest you spend some time walking around the East Village and stop by Veselka, a popular Ukrainian diner that is open 24hrs:

Veselka EV

It's worth walking around Greenwich Village as well but not to see the "Friends" building exterior...that show was largely filmed indoors in Burbank CA. You might want to wait until LA to see the set on the WB studio tour if you are that much of a fan...

The Friends Set

Last edited by nycflyer; May 31, 12 at 7:37 pm Reason: addtl info
nycflyer is offline  
Old May 31, 12, 9:14 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Times Square
Programs: SPG Gold, AAdvantage
Posts: 1,395
Originally Posted by NYCTraveller View Post



Disagree bigtime. Those restaurants are too commercialized. When you open chains, you need to maintain the consistency between restaurants. As a result, ingredients are made in one place, sometimes days in advance, and used in several locations. I much prefer my neighborhood pizzeria that makes their ingredients fresh multiple times daily. It's why it tastes unique.

(as you see, OP, this is a debate that can go on and on. )
I would pick the local over Rays or Famiglia as well. And of course not all Rays are chains, though I don't know about Famiglia because I feel like I've seen it outside of NYC in an airport somewhere. But my point was that when you don't have access to ANY New York pizza (like when I lived in Buffalo where the pizza can be described as "bread with ketchup"), you long for anything that reminds you of a slice from NYC, even if it is Rays.
sent is offline  
Old Jun 1, 12, 7:47 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 78
No, we're not the same person, we're roommates We're going at the same time, but will be splitting after.

Thanks guys for all those advises! Will go through them again a few days before the trip.

And this was sooo cheezy

Originally Posted by nycflyer View Post
Powka is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: